Peter Wessler Looks Back and Ahead

Lutheran Music Program Administrative and Communications Coordinator, Molly Maillette, has been asking me all summer to make a contribution to the LSM blog. As summer academy director, my days all month have overflowed with scheduling concerns, facility requests, putting out the occasional “fire,” and just keeping everything running smoothly. And now, surprisingly, as all the preparations for Festival weekend are completed, and the special schedule for the next three days is in full swing, I currently find myself in a type of “calm before the storm” of closing up shop and moving out of Luther College for the last time, at least for awhile.

Lutheran Summer Music was originally envisioned by our founders as a program “without walls,” meaning that the program was intended to be transient, moving from one Lutheran college campus to another, summer after summer. And for our first twenty years, that is what happened. Then, about fifteen years ago, the practice of entering into longer-term contracts with our host campuses was put into effect, making some of the administrative processes of fitting the program into a host facility less cumbersome.

I have been privileged to serve as academy director for 14 years, and for eleven of those years, the program has resided here at Luther. It has been a great blessing to be in this location for the past eight consecutive summers. The facilities are outstanding, and the people are absolutely wonderful. Decorah is a great little town, a wonderful place to spend the summer, and I have always eagerly anticipated my return here.

While we have been greatly blessed to be at Luther these past several years, I am happy to say that I am very excited about our move to Valparaiso University for LSM 2017 and taking on the challenge of re-creating our program in a new place. There is also great excitement about the move in the Valparaiso community and among many of our friends and donors with ties to the university. Their Center for the Arts and Chapel of the Resurrection will provide marvelous venues for our curricular, performance and worship components, and the planned faculty and student housing will provide excellent living accommodations for all in attendance. We hope you will plan to join us, as a student, parent, or audience member. It’s going to be great! See you at Valpo!